Wedding photography - I am in over my head, do you have tips?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LucyDarling, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. LucyDarling

    LucyDarling TPF Noob!

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    I am taking wedding photos to help a friend save money. I am by no means a professional photographer. I take pretty good outdoor photos and have a canon EOS digital rebel XT with the lens it came with and just the built in flash. The photos will be in the church and she wants me to take candids at the reception. Do I need to go buy a new lens and flash. Any tips on good settings for in the church?

    Thanks!
     
  2. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Oh God, here we go....
     
  3. LucyDarling

    LucyDarling TPF Noob!

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    Oh forget it.
     
  4. momofthing1and2

    momofthing1and2 TPF Noob!

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    I just did a wedding for my friend. I had tons of fun and took ALOT of pictures!
    I used the Nikon D40 and had 2 lenses 18-55mm and the 55-200mm. I used the 55-200mm. The only advice I have is to make sure you have a good flash :) you can email me mleehardy@gmail.com if you want to see some of the shots that I did.
    Good luck!
     
  5. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    You will need a speed light.. Churches are generally dimly lit, and you don't want a bunch of noisy, high-ISO pictures. I'd also invest in a lens-you'll use it for tons more than this wedding, so it will pay for itself, if not in money, than in fun!
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This sort of things seems to come up fairly often. It could certainly work out well, but it also has the potential for disaster.

    What are her expectations for her wedding photos? Is she fully and truly aware of your level of skill, experience and equipment? What do you think would happen if you failed to live up to her expectations?

    Are you aware of the limitations of your equipment?
    You can use the kit lens and the built-in flash, but it will be hard to get results similar to those of a professional wedding photographer.
    Are you prepared to deal with limitations and restrictions? What if flash isn't allowed in the church, for example?
    What would you do if, for some reason, your camera stopped working or got damaged? What about extra batteries and memory cards etc?

    There are a lot of things that could go wrong, and maybe that's OK if she isn't expecting much...but this is a once in a lifetime type of event (or at least is should be) and when it's all said and done, the photos may be more important to her than they are at this point. It's unfortunate that many people try to save money by skimping on the photography, but still spend thousands of dollars on the dress, flowers, food, decorations etc.

    The usual advice in this situation, is to convince them to hire a pro photographer, at least for the important parts of the wedding day. You can offer shoot the rest of the day.
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Avoid potential strains on your friendship. Tell her to enlist a pro. If you do it, you might do a great job. If your pix are mediocre, are you prepared to strain your relationship with your friend?
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    * refuses to post as my posts about weddings always causes fights *

    good luck with your wedding.. that is all
     
  9. momofthing1and2

    momofthing1and2 TPF Noob!

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    :lmao:

    How's that for if you dont have anything nice to say then dont say anything at all!
     
  10. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    every now and then, I remember the advice my parents gave me as a child...

    *restrains self from posting*


     
  11. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    Before anyone starts freaking you out about how you should have two camera bodies, spare lenses, spare batteries, how you should go the day before and work out all your compositions, settings, lighting, if you can use flash in a church etc etc.

    Find out what their expectations of you are. Have they seen your photos before?

    I have assisted at a few proper weddings, and shot my uncles wedding, and what I can say is, all weddings are different, and as Douglas Adams would say "Don't Panic".

    My uncle's wedding was on the rooftop of a building overlooking the beach with a celebrant and 8 other people.

    This wedding may not be in a church, with hundreds of people yada yada.

    When people are spending tens of thousands of dollars on weddings, they rarely ask their friend to do the snaps for free. You just know there is going to be disaster, and the bride and groom know it.

    My experience has been that most couples who hire cheap photographers or enlist friends to assist, is that they don't really care too much about the quality, and are usually surprised as to how good your images come out in general.

    They may have an album, but they usualy only frame one or two shots, and if you can't take one or two nice shots that are frame worthy, then you probably should turn down the offer anyways.

    Most people these days are used to candid P&S shots. When they see a shot with DoF, and great lighting they literally wet their pants.

    My best advice is to get a speedlite / external flash, and make sure you have your camera batteries fully charged and some spares for the flash.

    You probably have 2 kit lenses, a wide angle and telephoto.

    You'll be fine.

    The last advice I can give you as the dedicated photographer, regardless of the size of the wedding. Don't get involved (personally) in the parts you need to take photos of.

    For example if it's your best mate getting married, and they have their first kiss, take a photo of it, not clap along with the participants.
    Don't listen to the speeches, take photos. Don't laugh along to the jokes, take photos. Don't socialise with the guests, take photos.

    You need to remove yourself as a participant, and become more of an observer.

    You may "miss" a lot of the day, but you're the resident photographer, so your presence is better served as capturing the day, not being a part of it.

    That's my advice.

    Get a really accurate impression of what they want, and let them know what they're in for.

    If they want professional photos, then recommend they hire professional. Because a Rebel XT, no external flash and kit lenses will more than likely not make professional photos.

    And with the money you spent on purchasing appropriate level gear, they could have hired a professional and saved you the stress.

    Hope that didn't come off too sharp or cynical.
     
  12. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Personally i would get a 50mmF1.8 or F1.4 instead of a flash and use availiable light you will get more atmosphere without flash unless you know what you are doing
     

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